Biking in the Bay State

by c21commonweath_ldowling 5. December 2019 13:33

Massachusetts is known for its academic institutions, burgeoning tech scene, and rich sense of history, but did you know it’s also one of the most cycling-friendly states in the country?

According to the League of American Bicyclists, Massachusetts excels in adopting programs and policies that promote safe biking and walking, and the state provides the funding and infrastructure needed for safer biking paths.  

If you want to bike to work, the grocery store, or the local farmer’s market, you’ll be pleased to find designated bike paths throughout Boston (and the state at large), making your commute safer and more fun.

Biking Stats

Massachusetts residents and visitors are lucky to be in communities that provide the space and infrastructure necessary for everyday biking, where most biking routes aren’t that long. The National Household Travel Survey estimates that 52% of all trips taken are only three miles or less—the perfect cycling distance (or at least a short one)!

In fact, many of the state’s residents claim they’d prefer biking to specific places, like work or the grocery store, over other methods of transportation. After surveying 2,246 residents, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation found: 

  • 56% of rural respondents want to bike to work and 55% want to bike to nearby parks.
  • 59% of those surveyed in suburban areas want to bike to work and 48% want to bike to shopping centers.
  • 78% of urban respondents want to bike to work and 48% want to bike to shopping centers.

To create even more convenient, safe, and accessible bike paths, The League of American Bicyclists recommends that the state adopts certain laws to ensure biker safety, including:

  • A safe passing law that requires drivers to leave at least three feet of space between their vehicles and cyclists when passing them on the road.
  • A law that allows municipalities to enforce a speed limit of 20 miles per hour on streets with advisory bike lanes.

By making small changes like these, the state will continue to lead the way in investing in safer bikeways and walkways. Massachusetts already ranks fifth out of all 50 states for infrastructure and funding, with hundreds of millions of dollars recently spent on developing and maintaining safer shared paths, trails, and bikeways. For this reason, Massachusetts has seen fewer bicycling-related fatalities compared to years past.

Explore Boston’s Trails and Bike Paths

Massachusetts is home to many bikeways and walkways that guide locals and visitors alike to their final destinations—Boston alone boasts a 50-mile bike lane network. Click here for an overview of popular bike paths and trails throughout Boston and the surrounding areas.